July 18, 2015

ARRANGED MARRIAGES OFTEN SUCCEED:

The Door to Iran Opens (Roger Cohen, JULY 16, 2015, NY Times)

Iran, at 36 years from its theocratic revolution, is a repressive but pragmatic power under an aging leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose conduct in the talks saw his anti-American instincts counterbalanced by understanding of a reform imperative. Iran is finely poised between a tough old guard forged in revolution and its aspirational, Westward-looking youth. A decade is a long time in societies in transition. It is far better to have deep American-Iranian differences -- over Hezbollah, over Syria, over regional Shiite irredentism, over Iran's vile anti-Israel outbursts -- addressed through dialogue rather than have Iran do its worst as pariah.

This accord has the merit of condemning the United States and Tehran to a relationship -- however hostile -- over the next 15 years. The Middle East, several of its states irremediably fractured, needs a new security framework. This will take years. But to imagine it could ever be fashioned without Iran's involvement is fantasy. Meanwhile, the West and Iran have a common enemy: the medieval slaughterers of Islamic State. 

Posted by at July 18, 2015 8:48 AM
  

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